Concrete evidences of Congressional insubordination to presidential wishes daily grow more prevalent. Yesterday a motley crew in the Senate tacked an amendment requiring prevailing wage sales on the administration's public works program. Roosevelt forces, from the President to the lowliest adherent, have brought their full, organized support is hear on Congress to keep the bill unmutilated all to no avail.
Working on a variety of motives, the opposition everrede resistance by a vote of 44 to 43. McCarran and other disciples of Mr. Green, of the American Federation of Labor, fathered the measure, blinded by a dogmatic adherence to the one high-wage scale for all workers. The buffoon from Louisiana, too tolerantly dismissed as a fool, whipped wavering Senators into line, from a much-heralded desire to "do anything" to thwart the administration. Republicans, acting with usual partisan tactics, voted almost as a block for the amendment. The appalling fact is that none of the opposition cliques knows how rapidly and determinedly it is driving toward state socialization.
Senator Glass issued a solemn and well-founded warning about the precarious state of public credit if this amendment became law. But nobody mentioned the even more serious danger to the whole structure of society. Prevailing wages for public works would mean direct competition for labor with private industry, still desperately struggling to make both ends meet. More than enough government jobs have been handed out to demonstrate conclusively that they are usually sinecures, compared to regular industrial positions. With soft government berths in the offing, labor will leave private industry. The question has only two facets, Vote "yes" to the amendment if socialization is the aim; "no", if some hopes for private initiative are treasured.
Roosevelt has recognized the choice and has emphatically voted "no". Misguided, uninformed, and unscrupulous opposition groups have overridden his expressed desire. He has gone too far to retreat now. Even this magical manipulator of ideas and men cannot reconcile the irreconcilable. Unless re-consideration is forced in Congress, the presidential vote must be invoked. If so, we may expect a truly Herculean combat between the executive and the legislature which will be the strongest test of Roosevelt's power and character that has yet arisen.